Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School of Literature and Technology

The 106,000 sf Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School of Literature and Technology is located in the Gentilly Terrace neighborhood of New Orleans. The elementary school serves grades Pre-K through 8 and houses approximately 788 pupils. The school includes a gymnasium, cafeteria, academic, art, and science classrooms, administration areas, student services, library/media rooms, special education facilities, and music/performing spaces.

The school was designed around 6 beautiful 60+ year old (48” diameter trunks) live oak trees lining the site on Humanity St. During construction it was discovered that one of the trees was diseased—and should be removed for the safety of the inhabitants of the school. Early google images revealed that all of these trees were existing during the time of the 1st Stuart R. Bradley which was built in the 50s and demolished after Katrina. One of our Architects, Susan Gohd worked with the arborist in selecting one of the large 12-14” diameter lateral branches from the tree. After about a year of drying, Susan and her husband removed the bark with chisels, and then used planers & sanders to level and smooth the surfaces, finishing with several coats of a semi-gloss urethane. Five of the stumps were given to Stuart Bradley school to be used as stools in their library.

When the RSD selected your firm (STBA) to design and oversee this construction project, I believe they chose wisely and selected a firm who truly looked out for the best interests of not only the client, but the end users.

Kyle D. Condon, Chief Construction Officer, Landis Construction Co., LLC
Bethune Elementary 02
Bethune Elementary 04
Bethune Elementary 05
Bethune Elementary 03
Bethune Elementary 06
Bethune Elementary 08